Many people assume that since brushing is good for your teeth that more brushing must be better. However, this isn’t always the case. If you brush your teeth too often and too hard, you can cause receding gums and other problems.

man having pain while brushing his teeth

How Overbrushing Can Damage Your Teeth

Gum irritation is one of the earliest signs that you’re brushing too hard or not using the right equipment. If your gums feel sore after you brush, you may want to reconsider how you’re brushing. There are three main reasons why your gums may be responding to your toothbrushing, including:

  • Brushing too hard
  • Brushing too often
  • Using a hard-bristled brush

If you don’t change up your routine, sensitive gums will turn into receding gums. You may then experience tooth sensitivity and you will see more of the tooth root, which is a different color and texture than the crown.

If you keep brushing your teeth too much, the abrasives in toothpaste will slowly erode your enamel. This can lead to discoloration of the tooth that won’t respond to teeth whitening and can increase sensitivity and the risk of cracking a tooth.

Brushing the Right Way

Brush your teeth at least twice a day, before you go to sleep and right after you get up in the morning. Use a soft-bristled brush and toothpaste that contains fluoride but is minimally abrasive. Angle the toothbrush slightly toward the gums. Use gentle circular motions to scrub your teeth. If you have trouble with this type of motion, you can use other ones, but it’s important that you don’t aggressively jackhammer your toothbrush across your teeth, because this motion is what can irritate your gums.

When you brush your teeth during the middle of the day, consider doing it without toothpaste. This will reduce the amount of enamel damage you cause with the abrasives. And don’t brush right after eating, especially if you have acidic foods with lunch or wash your lunch down with a soda. Instead, rinse your mouth with water right away and wait to allow the pH in your mouth to normalize. Acids can soften your teeth enamel, making it more likely that brushing after acid exposure will damage teeth.

If you are seeing the effects of overbrushing on your gums, we can help. Please contact Rice Dentistry today.